Tomorrow you’re going to have a unique opportunity. For a mere $15 dollars, you can make a young boy’s dreams come true. This boy:
Even before he could think clearly, stories had formed in his yet-unformed palate. Very few people understood him at first; they felt he was merely babbling. But as he learned a few words, he spun tales of things he had slapped, of parents kept awake, and of the deep wetness below.
Moving forward to when he was four, this kid (we’ll call him Royce) was moved halfway down the Eastern seaboard, from New York to the rurals of North Carolina. He barely noticed the difference at the time; a few people were missing, and a few had replaced them.
One of the people who was missing was his grandfather. We’ll call him Tom because that is, in fact, his name. Tom had one daughter and, from her, two grandchildren. And they all moved away in one fell swoop. So Tom came up with a unique way of closing the gap: he purchased two tape machines. He gave one to his daughter and used the other to record original stories he wrote for his grandchildren. These he mailed to them regularly.
These stories, Royce has always felt, were wonderful, but he will never really know. His age was too tender when they had been played for him, and the tapes are long since lost—wrenched from a storage unit by unfriendly hands, possibly those of its own caretakers, men ignorant of what they had taken.
These lost stories became a source of many fantasies in Royce’s life. He would think on them often, imagining what was on those tapes—or what had been, until they were overdubbed with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, or whatever is it storage-unit thieves had an ear for. And thus at an age far too young to even be thinking of children—or even aware of the exciting process from which they were created—Royce started to imagineer his own stories, the ones he would tell his grandchildren someday. And while he was never able to verify it, Royce became convinced that his grandfather was a brilliant storyteller, and that story-telling flowed in his blood. And this belief chewed at him his whole life.
Royce—we’ll call him Brett, because that is, in fact, his name—lived a bountiful life, blessed by steady work and serious women. And yet he shrugged off all his gifts, unsatisfied with what he had been given, and dedicated himself to the most unprofitable pursuit of writing. And to this day, he has completed no less than five first-halves of novels, three rough drafts, five unpurchased screenplays, and now, after five years of focused work, a finished book called The Deadfall Project.
In writing this book, Brett tried to avoid the many pitfalls that became his fellow first-time writers: he has picked a topic which did not focus indulgently on his own life. He makes no mention of how great he is, or of how pitiful he is. He casts no blame on society or his parents. He does not reveal to the world his homosexuality.
In fact, all he really does is take a simple act of terror and allow it lead to car chases, gun fights, and international intrigue. Sure, this is a tale of love and redemption; but what Brett hopes you’ll take from it is a sense of shit-in-your-pants excitement, and of oh-my-god I need to sleep but I cannot put this book down-style fulfillment.
It is also his sincere hope that, after you have read it, you will recommend it to others—not because of any relationship that you have with Brett himself, not because he loves your cats, and not because he nearly killed himself building your giant piece of art—but merely because you feel it is a book worthy of your recommendation, a book you would pass on no matter who had written it, a gem that you felt lucky enough to be one of the first to read.
And, on the off chance this doesn’t prove to be the case, well, maybe next time.